Former HBO Europe executives Johnathan Young and Ioanina Pavel have launched production company May One to produce premium television drama in Romania for local and international audiences.

Young was also formerly an exec on UK continuing dramas including Eastenders and Casualty.

Based in Bucharest, the company will develop, produce and provide creative partnership for quality series shot in Romania, working with established and new talent from both within and outside the country. Its first commission, currently shooting, is the original Netflix series Subteran, announced in October last year and produced alongside Tudor Reu (Mobra Films).

May One will “open up the wealth of Romanian resources and talent to the international industry,” inviting partnerships and collaborations as well as developing new writers and ideas within Romania.

Of their ambition at May One, Young says: “Romania is a hot-bed for creativity, and the country provides an enticing and fascinating backdrop for TV. With our knowledge and network in this vibrant, exciting space we want to be a hub for local talent, to attract collaborations, and create high-quality drama that brings a different flavour to international audiences.”

Pavel continues: “Here in Romania we have ideas that won’t be found anywhere else, and the creative talent to back them up. Our aim is to elevate these for local and global audiences, tapping into our unique vision and landscape to create bold, genre shows that feel unique and distinctive, but have broad appeal.”

At HBO Europe in his role as VP Original Production, Young oversaw HBO’s slate of original local language series in the region. His Executive Producer credits include award-winning Polish series Wataha (The Pack), Romanian-German international co-production Hackerville, and most recently HBO Max’s Cold War spy drama Spy/Master, which had its world premiere at this year’s Berlinale. Pavel began as a Development Executive at HBO Romania, working on hit Romanian gangster drama Umbre (Shadows) and Hackerville, before going on to produce a variety of series including romantic drama RUXX, reality contest One True Singer, and Spy/Master for HBO Max.

Jon Creamer

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